Swedish Al-Qaeda hostage freed after six years in captivity

Mali attack

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said in a statement "extensive efforts have been made" to secure the release of Johan Gustafsson, 42, who's situation "has touched many of us".

Responsibility for the abduction was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

"This collaboration has now resulted in Johan being able to return home", she said.

The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the question of a ransom. Johan Gustafsson was on a motorcycle trip from Sweden to South Africa when he was kidnapped.

"I've already spoken with Johan and he is doing well and is overwhelmed by everything going on", Wallstrom told Swedish Radio.

Wallstrom said "considerable efforts" were made by the Foreign Ministry, together with the police and other Swedish and foreign authorities, in order to secure Gustafsson's release.

Following his arrival, Wallstrom said during a news conference that Gustafsson was set free "a few days ago" but declined to give any details on the negotiations except to say that "diplomacy and police work" along with tight worldwide cooperation led to his release.

L'ultimatum au Qatar est "contraire au droit international", estime Erdogan
Nous considérons qu'il s'agit d'une attaque contre les droits souverains d'un pays et que cette liste de 13 demandes va trop loin. Doha a récemment reçu une liste de 13 demandes envoyée par l'Arabie Saoudite , les Émirats arabes unis, l'Égypte et le Bahreïn .

He was held with two other men, Stephen McGown, a South African national, and Sjaak Rijke, from the Netherlands.

AQIM took a number of Western hostages in the north of Mali in 2012 before the French military deployed its forces in early 2013.

"We have no information..." "We have reached a dead end", Gift of the Givers said in a May 17 statement.

According to Swedish media reports, Gift of the Givers had been negotiating a ransom with the hostage-takers.

In January 2016, Swiss missionary Beatrice Stockly was kidnapped by AQIM, also in Timbuktu, after she had received repeated threats from jihadists.

French aid worker Sophie Petronin was abducted in the northern Malian city of Gao in late 2016.

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